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Bass Pedal Tricks with Michael League of Snarky Puppy / Reverb

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To Michael League, bassist and de facto leader of the massive collective of musicians known as Snarky Puppy, experimenting with tone is a lot less about what you can do and a lot more about what you should do. Although he takes much of his sonic inspiration from keyboard bass players like Bobby Sparks, the late Bernie Worrell, and of course, Stevie Wonder, trying to make his bass sound like a keyboard is only the goal when it makes musical sense. A question League often asks himself is, "Is this the most musically appropriate thing?"

But when it is musically appropriate, League has a carefully selected arsenal of pedals to really get in the groove and carve out the desired tone. For instance, his meat-and-potatoes octaver is the MXR Bass Octave Deluxe, which only requires a tone roll-up if his riffs are replete with sixteenth notes. For a more electronic sound that pairs well with a Bootsy-like swing, League clicks on the EarthQuaker Devices Spatial Delivery envelope filter. Another of League's favorites is the Boss OC-2, which has a distinctive club sound that lends itself particularly well to sparse playing.